How to fix “Cannot apply changes to this Internet Shortcut” Windows

cannot apply changes to this internet shortcut 2016 2019

What is the cause of this problem?

Most people think the problem is a lack of permissions. Even if you are logged on as an admin user, your Windows Explorer is running with ‘user’ privileges.   However, on Server 2016, trying to run Windows Explorer with elevated privileges did not work. If you look at the start menu folders, they are “read only”.  You can un-set this and the folder will just go back to read-only. I’m pretty sure that Microsoft made this difficult because users could mess with each other by changing program shortcuts.  While working with the military, I saw a prank inside IT departments using this.  They changed the shortcut for Internet Explorer into the “shutdown -f” command on servers that shouldn’t be using the Internet.  Caused some outages, but it sure got the point across. Anyways, for whatever reason, it is difficult.  But copying the entire file from your desktop will solve the problem.

Selfish plug time (sorry!)

Thanks for reading this article! I hope it helps you! If you have tips or feedback, please comment or send me an email so that others can benefit. I am a consultant in the Maryland/DC area in the USA. My specialties are Windows migrations (to 2016 and to Office 365 / Azure), VMware migrations, Netapp and SAN, and high availability / disaster recovery planning. If your business would like help with your complex project, or would like a architectural review to improve your availability, please reach out!    More information and contact can be found on the About page. – Amira Armond kieri solutions IT consultant service provider cybersecurity logo

One thought on “How to fix “Cannot apply changes to this Internet Shortcut” Windows

  1. Calvin L Mitchell says:

    We store desktop shortcuts in a network fileshare so that they are readily available when imaging new computers.

    I’ve NEVER had problems editing a shortcut till now. The shortcut did not come from the start menu, but from a fileshare. All i’m trying to do is change the icon on the shortcut…???

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